Elsewhere online
December 04, 2015

$53 Million Gift for U. of Cambridge; $25 Million for U. of Wisc.

The University of Cambridge has received a $52.6 donation from the estate of sound-technology innovator Ray Dolby, the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The gift, announced Thursday, will benefit the 800-year-old English university's Pembroke College, at which Mr. Dolby was a graduate student and research fellow.

Mr. Dolby, who died in 2013, developed the audio-noise-reduction system that bares his name. He founded Dolby Laboratories in London 50 years ago after earning his doctorate at Cambridge — where he also met his wife, Dagmar - and later moved the firm to San Francisco. The estate gift will fund construction of the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Court, a student housing complex.

The Mead Witter Foundation is giving $25 million to University of Wisconsin-Madison to support the building of a music performance venue, writes the Wisconsin State Journal. The donation will allow construction to begin next fall of a 680-seat concert hall, the larger of two performance spaces at the planned Hamel Music Center.

The Mead Witter Foundation Hall, as it will be known, was initially expected to be built in a second, unscheduled phase of the construction but will now be incorporated into a one-step project slated for completion in 2018. The university will also rename its music school for the Mead and Witter families, which developed Wisconsin's coated-paper industry. Their Wisconsin Rapids-based foundation also supports engineering scholarships and professorships at the university.